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South African designer Thebe Magugu poses in Paris on February 25, 2020. - Thebe Magugu is the first African designer to win the LVMH 2019 award at the age of 26.

South African Designer Thebe Magugu Becomes International Woolmark Prize Finalist

Multi award-winning South African fashion designer, Thebe Magugu, has been named as one of six finalists in the 2021 International Woolmark Prize.

Thebe Magugu has reportedly been announced as one of six finalists in the 2021 International Woolmark Prize, according to IOL. The multi award-winning fashion designer from South Africa is gunning for the annual prize which is reportedly worth over two million Rand (approximately USD 131 140). Magugu is contesting against five other finalists from around the world including Nigerian designer, Kenneth Ize. Magugu won the highly acclaimed 2019 LVMH (Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessy) award and made history as the first African to do so. This might just be another win for the young designer and we're certainly here for it.


Read: South African Designer Thebe Magugu Won the Coveted LVMH Prize

The International Woolmark Prize is the longest standing prestigious prize for emerging fashion designers. High fashion designers such as Karl Lagerfeld and Yves Saint Laurent were the first winners of the prize in 1954. Magugu, who is only 27-years-old, took to his Instagram to thank the Woolmark Company for the opportunity for being selected as one of the top six finalists.

Magugu's designs have been described by Vogue writer, Janelle Okwodu, as an homage to the classical flowing styles of a bygone cinematic era. The silhouettes are a reference to Black civil movements both in the USA during the rise of Black Panther and in South Africa during Apartheid. In a statement to Vogue, Magugu explained that his LVMH win saw a rise in sales but cancellations soon followed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Magugu reportedly currently produces his garments locally as part of his own socio-economic responsibility. The International Woolmark Prize might boost productions as finalists have the opportunity for their designs to be picked up by international brands.

The other four top finalists are Bethany Williams and Matty Bovan from the UK, Marie-Eve Lecavalier from Canada and Charaf Tajer from France. The six finalists were selected from 380 applications across 55 countries. Former supermodel, Naomi Campbell, was part of the selection committee. Winners will be announced early next year.

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The Best Amapiano Songs Out Right Now

Featuring Aymos, Uncle Vinny, Blaqnick & MasterBlaq, 2woBunnies, Balcony Mix Africa, and more

It's only been few weeks in and 2023 is already promising to be one of the most impactful years for amapiano internationally.

The recent announcements of Uncle Waffles and Major League DJz being billed to play at Coachella and Tomorrowland, respectively, earmarks the continuing steady rise of amapiano on the global stage. Drake (who recently likened listening to Kelvin Momo’s music to a religious experience) included some ‘piano tracks in his DJ set at a listening session in NYC. After its introduction to the festival last year, Afrochella’s Piano People stage is also heading to Miami this coming May with the likes of Focalistic, Musa Keys, Vigro Deep and TxC expected to perform.

With that said, we introduce our monthly round-up, solely dedicated to amapiano. Here are the amapiano songs and music videos that caught our attention this month.

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Image via Sheila Afari PR/Bongeziwe Mabandla.

The Best South African Songs Out Right Now

Featuring Bongeziwe Mabandla, Sjava, Tyla, Blxckie, Msaki, AKA x Khuli Chana, and more

Here are the South African music videos and new songs that caught our attention this month.

For more music lists, check out our Songs You Need to Hear This Week roundups and our regional monthly lists for Nigeria, Ghana, and East Africa.

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Photo By Adedamola Odetara for OkayAfrica

Photo Series: Vic Mensa's Pilgrimage to Ghana

OkayAfrica traveled with Vic Mensa as he visited his father's childhood home, Koforidua. Here's a behind-the-scenes look about what happened.

Back in December, American rapper Vic Mensa went on a pilgrimage back home. The rapper was in Accra, Ghana for his historic Black Star Line Festival, which he was co-hosting with longtime friend and fellow rapper Chance the Rapper.

But, on a hot day before the festival, the rapper traveled two hours from Accra to Koforidua to visit his extended family. There is a lot of history in Koforidua. Highlife trailblazer Chief Kofi Sammy grew up there. Not only was he founder of the famous Okukuseku International Band but Sammy also had a long and fruitful relationship with Afrobeat legend Fula Kuti.

He also happens to be Vic Mensa's uncle. And part of the reason Vic took this trip is to convince Sammy to join him on stage at the Black Star Line Festival in Accra, in front of 50,000 fans. However, while there, Vic made sure he had time to connect with his extended family.

It was a special, intimate moment. One OkayAfrica was lucky enough to witness firsthand. Check out our photo gallery of Vic Mensa's pilgrimage below.

Photo By Adedamola Odetara for OkayAfrica

In December 2022, Vic Mensa took a trip to visit his uncle, legendary Highlife artist Chief Kofi Sammy. It’s about a two hour drive from Accra to Koforidua. A bit longer when you factor in Vic stopping for some of his favorite snacks.

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Photo: Etan Comics

Ethiopia’s First Superhero Comic is Going Global

Etan Comics is launching a kids version of the kickstarter-backed title, which will be published in 11 languages.


After the successful release of their graphic novel, Jember, Etan Comics is teaming up with the non-profit Open Hearts Big Dreams (OHBD) to launch a special collaboration. Etan is working with the Seattle-based organization, which has produced over 700 bilingual early-reader titles, to turn Jember into a bilingual kids book that's based on the award-winning graphic novel.

The release of the book coincides with Black History Month, and will be launched in 11 different languages, including Amharic, Arabic, French, Greek, Igbo, Kiswahili, Spanish, and Wolayta. Jember was first published in hardcover format in October 2022, and after its release it garnered +$12K pre-orders on Kickstarter. The comic book is designed to help emerging readers build their reading confidence, and learn more about African cultures and languages. Created and written by Beserat Debebe, it was illustrated by Yonatan Solomon and Michael Okoroagha.

Jember is being turned into a bilingual kids book that's based on the award-winning graphic novel and will be available in 11 different languages.

Photo: Etan Comics

Beginning in mid-February, the books will be available globally on Amazon and IngramSpark. They will also be available at Walmart, Target, Barnes & Noble, and in public libraries shortly after.

With the release of Jember, Etan Comics aims to make African stories accessible to global readers. The collaboration will also help Ethiopian children, who make up 40% of the Ethiopian population, to be empowered through the story, which speaks to the rich cultural heritage of the Ethiopian history.

With this development, Etan Comics has joined the growing list of new generation of African comic book creators who are sharing African culture through comics to engage readers with various parts of the continent's history.

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